All-American: Born Ready

‘Born Ready’ is the latest in the All American series, produced by Bruce Weber and his partner Nan Bush that attempts to show contemporary America. The volume starts with a poem from Native American writer Sherman Alexie. According to Weber while the poem ‘looks to the future, it reflects living in the past’ which is …

Voodoo

Originating in Western Africa, Voodoo spread with the slave trade to the Caribbean and later New Orleans where it was fused with Christianity to varying degrees. Gael Turine has attempted to capture the followers of the religion when he travelled to Benin, Haiti and the USA in his book ‘Voodoo’ with spectacular results. The pictures …

Let the Weekend Begin.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard a mix CD that really demands repeat listening but New York’s own Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter have released a cracker in ‘Weekends and Beginnings’. They have eschewed experimentation for a series of banging tracks that make you feel that life is worth living after all.

Gabriel Garzon Montano

I know next to nothing about the contemporary soul singer Gabriel Garzon Montano other than he is highly recommended by jazz, soul and funk aficionado Gilles Peterson. It’s not hard to see why. His EP ‘Bishounes: Alma del Huila’ is a beautifully paced mellow ride into the soul universe reminding me a little of early …

Jenny Saville

When I see a Jenny Saville painting I’m always reminded of Middle-America. It’s the gargantuan fleshy bodies she paints that do it, I think. For Saville is certainly no fan of the waif. Her figures are big, solid, powerful and often appear to be suffering. There’s something about her work that reminds a little of …

The Dying of the Light

For me the photography book of the year is Paddy Summerfield’s ‘Mother and Father’, a work of such simplicity and poignancy that it can move a hard man to tears. The subject is the photographer’s elderly parents and their battle with Alzheimer’s The images are furtively captured from behind windows and bushes and feature the …

Keep on Moving

There’s something about roller-skating and skateboarding that was made for California. Even when shot in black and white, the carefree summer vibe of these seventies images which feature some of the most prominent female practitioners, comes through.

Tears Become Streams

When I brought tickets to see the conceptual art meets classical music event ‘Tears become streams become’ I had no idea what to expect. Apart from water. That was clear. Their would be water and probably a piano but outside of that it was all a bit of mystery. Yesterday I toddled along to see …

Invisible City

Ken Schles documented 1980’s Bohemian New York in a series of black and white images taken while living in an East village tenement. They first came to light in the much lauded ‘Invisible City’ published in 1988 and were exhibited at MoMA. Mostly taken at night the images speak to a twilight world reminiscent of …

Philip Glass Etudes at BAM

In a rare moment of high culture interaction I want to see Philip Glass ‘Etudes’ at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It was performed by 10 different pianists including Glass himself. A minimal set consisted of a piano and ten piano stools each placed at the back of the stage under a simple backdrop consisting …